Thursday, January 29, 2009

Devardi Glass Testing

There is a new glass from India called Devardi. I thought I would give it a try and see what it is all about. The price is very reasonable at $5.99 a pound. There are some good and bad in this glassline, just as there are good and bad in other glass lines. If you are looking for consistency of rod, this glass is not for you. Compatibility testing is a must, since nothing is known of the company history or testing.
The package came quickly and was nicely packed with aquarium filter fiber. I hope they find a way to change this to mailing bubbles or some other safer method. There were a few chipped ends, but over all, the packaging was fine. The bundle was mixed and unlabeled. This is troublesome because there is no way of knowing what color is what so when restocking, there will be a bit of guesswork. Annoying, but not unliveable.
The rods were seedy, scratchy and irregular. They average around 8-12mm in diameter. Some rods had grooves along the side which made for a shocky experience. The worst so far is the opaque olive(?). This is like that Vetro Marbled Avocado--turned to frit in the flame. Others would shock/shatter when reintroduced in the flame...annoying but liveable. This is not the regular shocking from the size of the rod, but I think from the tiny bubbles that run along the length of the rod.
For the most part, my experience has been good. If the clear had fewer bubbles and less scratches, it would be great clear--it doesn't scum if you get a rod without the scratches(I got one!). The other clear rods I got did have scratches and did form a tiny bit of scum. Still, it was better than some of the other clears available on the market. I was pleasantly surprised.

The light rose was a pretty amber rose color but the rods had a coating of what looked like an accidental spray of shellac or something. A scrubbing could not take it off. Subsequently, this color foamed horribly and was not pretty. When silver color was added over it, it darkened to an amber. If the shellac or whatever the coating is, could be removed, this could be a nice color.
I also tested a transparent green and it was a bit fizzy too. Nothing like the clear or the purple which was very nice. From this I figure each color must be tested individually to see if it is smooth or bubbly.
The Metallic Black is a cheap alternative to the expensive Dark Silver Plum or Effetre Black Metallic. It reacts beautifully with silver colors. So far, surface decorations are nice. I have not tried to encase this color yet, but this is a very nice surprise. It does take a bit more time to strike than DSP and sometimes it's hard to get the rainbow, but for $5.99 a pound, it's pretty nice.
Another nice surprise is the aqua. Unlike Moretti, this color doesn't foam or pit. It does react with Ivory and turns a greyish green. Interesting color, but more tests need to be done.
Encasing will need much more testing, as will compatibility with silver colors.
So far I have cracking with CiM Peace based beads encased with Devardi Purple and Amethyst. Also with encased Terra over Devardi purple. More tests need to be done to show which color the Devardi is incompatible with. Another clear encased bead made with a very thin strip of Terra, dichroic stringer and ASK Bahia Blue came out fine. Since the proof in the pudding for silver glass is a wait of 6 months, it can be a while before the final results will be known.
I tested the dark red and it gets brown reduction in it. I will not be using this red, as there are several good reds on the market that will not turn brown. The purple opaque turned grey coming out of the kiln. I also tried some of the semi opaques but I will redo the test because all of them turned opaque. I think these might be like the Lauscha milky way colors that can only tolerate a very quick annealing time. I will try making a couple at the end of a garage cycle.

Overall, much more testing needs to be done. I do worry about how to market beads made with this glass, but that is me. If I knew more about the company and how they treat their workers and the heart they put into the glass, I think I would be more comfortable. I like to support companies that care, and so far Bullseye, Double Helix and American Boro have those in spades! I also like to support Italian glass because of their history and tradition. The island of Murano is going through some tough times and some of the historic factories are being leveled to make way for hotels. I feel that if I support the production of glass in Italy, I am helping to keep their fires burning and subsequently the history of glass.
Anyhoo--it's time to melt some glass!!

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